22 Feb 2012

Are Bedbugs at BGSU?

Author: Carrie Brittson | Filed under: BGSU, Localizing story, Spring 2012

This is a bedbug; its actual size is 1/4-3/8 inch long, which is smaller than a penny, but visable to the naked eye. Photo By Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force.

By Carrie Brittson

Bedbugs are recently becoming more of a problem across the United States. These tick like bugs hide in mattress seams, power outlets and baseboards, according to the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force. The task force is a collaboration of local governments, health departments and several other agencies, which set out to prevent infestations.


The first recent case of bedbugs in Wood County was in 2010, according to the Wood County Health Department 2010 Annual Report. Since then, bedbug cases have been minor and spread out throughout Wood County, said Brad Espen, director of environmental health for the Wood County Health Department.


Even though there have only been two cases of bedbugs in the past 20 years at BGSU, there are set policies to follow when a case does occur, said Robert Pflum, campus operations coordinator. Campus Operations will act immediately once notified so it can prevent the insects from spreading. The management protocol includes four phases: reporting, investigating, treating and following up, according to the protocol.


At BGSU, campus operations has precautions to take to prevent bed bugs, said Pflum. He said the mattresses used in residence halls are inverted seam mattresses. This mattress makes it hard for bedbugs to hide along the seam. People who live off campus can purchase mattress covers, which are the equivalent.  

An inverted seamed mattress that is used in dorm rooms. Photo by Carrie Brittson



During all phases, home owners as well as on campus residents, must be very cooperative and continuous with the cleaning instructions, Espen said. Even in the smallest cases, people need to follow precautions because bedbugs can multiply quickly; they are great hitchhikers and are very hard to get rid of, Espen said.


Residents must report the incident and not try to treat it themselves, Espen said.


 “People that try to treat the case themselves end up using chemicals or pesticides that are more harmful than the bugs are themselves,” Espen said. He said until the EPA approves a safe indoor insecticide, people must contact a licensed contractor who knows the correct protocol.


Everyone should check for signs of bedbugs to prevent transferring them, Espen said. Be sure to know what signs to look for, such as shells or blood spots, when going on a trip Espen said. He said to check all sheets and crevices. Another precaution is to keep items such as luggage off the floor.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.